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Phoenix home values soar at the end of 2012 to lead nation

According to Kristena Hansen, a reporter with Phoenix Business Journal, January 22, 2013 – The metro Phoenix housing market has long been known for its volatility, so it should be no surprise that it lived up to its reputation through the end of last year, posting the largest — by far — home-value gains in the nation.

The latest figures released Tuesday by Zillow Inc. show Phoenix home values soared by 22.5 percent year-over-year during the last three months of 2012.

That’s significantly better than the nationwide average of 5.9 percent growth for the same period, and by far the biggest increase of any major metropolitan area examined by Zillow. San Jose, Calif. trailed far behind in second place at 15.4 percent, followed by San Francisco’s 14 percent and Las Vegas’s 13.9 percent.

Metro Phoenix’s price gains brought the area’s average home value to $157,800 for the fourth quarter, slightly better than the national average of $157,400, the report said.

Valley home values were also up 4.6 percent from just the third quarter, tying with San Diego for the fifth largest quarter-over-quarter jump, the report said. It was also much better than the nationwide average of 2.5 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Zillow economists expect the upswing in Valley home prices to continue through this year, albeit at a much slower 8.5 percent pace. The city of Phoenix should see a slightly bigger increase of almost 10 percent, while areas such as Scottsdale and Paradise Valley will see the biggest hikes of 13 to 14 percent.

Most other parts of the nation also ended the year on a high note — almost 70 percent of all 366 metro areas Zillow examined posted year-over-year home value gains in 2012 and about three-quarters saw an upward trend from the previous quarter, the report said.

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